sugar beet

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

Sugar Beet

The possibility of beet sugar was first discovered in 1605 when a French scientist found that the boiled root of garden beet (Beta vulgaris ) yielded a syrup similar to that obtained from sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum ). It was not until the mid-1700s, however, that the commercial potential of sugar beets was recognized. Once realized, sugar beets quickly became a major crop in Europe and elsewhere, displacing some of the sugarcane that could only be obtained from tropical plantations. The cultivated sugar beet is, therefore, a variety of the common garden beet, known as Beta vulgaris var. crassa.

The sugar beet has wide, thin leaves, growing from a large, tuberous root mass. It is a biennial herb (having a two-year life cycle), storing most of its first-year production of biomass in its large, carbohydrate-rich root (containing 17-27% sugar).

In 1999, about 16.8 million acres (6.8 million ha) of sugar beets were grown world-wide, and total production was 286 million tons of root mass (260 million tonnes). Sugar beets are used to manufacture sucrose-sugar, as well as secondary products such as alcohol. The pressed remains of sugar extraction can be fed to cows and other livestock.

Bill Freedman

views updated

Sugar beet

The possibility of beet sugar was first discovered in 1605 when a French scientist found that the boiled root of garden beet (Beta vulgaris) yielded a syrup similar to that obtained from sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). It was not until the mid-1700s, however, that the commercial potential of sugar beets was recognized. Once realized, sugar beets quickly became a major crop in Europe and elsewhere, displacing some of the sugarcane that could only be obtained from tropical plantations. The cultivated sugar beet is, therefore, a variety of the common garden beet, known as Beta vulgaris var. crassa.

The sugar beet has wide, thin leaves, growing from a large, tuberous root mass . It is a biennial herb (having a two-year life cycle), storing most of its first-year production of biomass in its large, carbohydrate-rich root (containing 17-27% sugar).

In 1999, about 16.8 million acres (6.8 million ha) of sugar beets were grown world-wide, and total production was 286 million tons of root mass (260 million tonnes). Sugar beets are used to manufacture sucrose-sugar, as well as secondary products such as alcohol . The pressed remains of sugar extraction can be fed to cows and other livestock .

Bill Freedman

views updated

sugar beetaccrete, beat, beet, bittersweet, bleat, cheat, cleat, clubfeet, compete, compleat, complete, conceit, Crete, deceit, delete, deplete, discreet, discrete, eat, effete, élite, entreat, escheat, estreat, excrete, feat, feet, fleet, gîte, greet, heat, leat, leet, Magritte, maltreat, marguerite, meat, meet, mesquite, mete, mistreat, neat, outcompete, peat, Pete, petite, pleat, receipt, replete, seat, secrete, sheet, skeet, sleet, splay-feet, street, suite, sweet, teat, treat, tweet, wheat •backbeat • heartbeat • deadbeat •breakbeat • offbeat • browbeat •downbeat • drumbeat • upbeat •sugar beet • Blackfeet • flatfeet •forefeet • exegete • polychaete •lorikeet • parakeet •athlete, biathlete, decathlete, heptathlete, pentathlete, triathlete •kick-pleat • paraclete • obsolete •gamete • crabmeat • sweetmeat •mincemeat • forcemeat • backstreet •concrete • window seat

views updated

sugar beet Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla, a biennial plant related to the garden beetroot but with white, conical roots; the most important source of sugar (sucrose) in temperate countries; contains 15–20% sucrose.

views updated

sug·ar beet • n. beet of a variety from which sugar is extracted. It provides an important alternative sugar source to cane, and the pulp that remains after processing is used as feed for livestock.

views updated

sugar beet Variety of beet grown commercially for its high sugar content, which is stored in its thick white roots. Family Chenopdiaceae; species Beta vulgaris.

views updated

sugar beet (Beta) See CHENOPODIACEAE.

views updated

sugar beet, variety of beet used commercially as a source of sugar.